Recently, 30 Members of the European Parliament signed a letter demanding action after reports from Border Violence Monitoring, Are You Syrious?, Amnesty International, No Name Kitchen, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) concerning the ongoing human rights abuses at the EU’s external land borders in the Balkan region. The MEPs demanded – amongst other things – to “monitor the use of EU funding related to asylum, migration and border management in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina”.¹
While the Croatian police is – at least – addressed for illegal practices at their borders, the Slovenian police has silently been working hand in hand with them.
Slovenian activists just published a detailed report on the commitment of Slovenian police in the questionable methods of “border protection”.
According to them, Slovenia started with systematic illegal denial of the right to asylum procedure and collective expulsions in the end of May 2018, after an order by the ex Director General of Slovenian Police which instructed that when in mixed patrols of Slovenian and Croatian police, if a person is caught illegally crossing the border, he*she should be returned to Croatia.
“This instruction by itself has not yet been recognised as unlawful by any court, but after this order was introduced, the number people who were given the right to an asylum procedure reduced drastically. For example, at the Police Station Črnomelj, which is the closest in walking distance from Velika Kladuša, in May 2018, 379 people were apprehended for illegal border crossing and 371 of them (98%) expressed the intention to seek asylum. In June, after these police instructions were introduced, 412 people were apprehended for illegal border crossing, but only 13 of them managed to express their intention to seek asylum in Slovenia. This means that from May to June the percentage of people who crossed to Slovenia and sought asylum with police in Črnomelj dropped from 98% to only 3%.
“Those who were denied their right to seek asylum were then eligible to be processed by the readmission agreement between Slovenia and Croatia that was introduced in 2006. Out of 9149 people who were in procedure for illegally crossing the border to Slovenia, police has expelled at least 4653 persons to Croatia under this agreement, with full knowledge that there is high chance that those people would be then further expelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina with a high risk of torture and abuse by the Croatian police. The same practice of systematic denial of the right to asylum is also present in other police stations along the southern border region such as Police Station Metlika, Police Station Ilirska Bistrica, Police Station Kočevje and Border Police Station Dragonja.”
Read their full report: